ENVISIONING LANDSCAPES OF WARFARE: A MULTI-REGIONAL ANALYSIS OF EARLY IRON FORTRESS-STATES AND BIAINILI-URARTU
Earley, Tiffany Celena
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The present dissertation—an interdisciplinary study incorporating archaeological data, textual sources, art-historical evidence, and ethnography—investigates state development in the highland, non-urban empire of Urartu and the Early Iron fortress-states that preceded it during the early first millennium BCE. GIS studies take social agents into account, employing Social Network Analysis and human-scale analysis techniques. Vision acts as an organizing principle for the present study and provides a window into the priorities and decision making of the people who created the ancient states in question. The investigation of Iron Age fortress states has been hindered by a paucity of systematic, multi-regional studies. In order to understand the spatial development of Urartu, the dissertation employs a large-scale, temporally-sensitive study, utilizing results from archaeological survey performed by German and Italian expeditions to Iranian Azerbaijan and the Lake Sevan region in Armenia. An examination of the data—both historical and archaeological—reveals, contrary to previous scholarship, that the strategies of the Urartian empire varied across space as well as in time. Furthermore, the Urartian occupation in the studied areas did not constitute a dramatic break with previous modes of regional organization, but intensified pre-existing patterns, particularly those of regional defense. The role of systematic warfare in the large-scale organization of states is examined. The visibility studies reveal that forts, fortresses and settlements were strategically placed for defensive communication and the systematic surveillance of roads, and that these patterns were already in place by the Early Iron Age. The insecurity created by the threat of warfare is understood as only one of a variety of factors that influenced the organization of the studied Iron Age states along with economic incentives, ritual importance and the ideological impact of socially-constructed space. It is furthermore proposed that fortress-states, dominated by military architecture and frequently accompanied by bellicose philosophies and religious ideas, are a response to crisis and may promote continued cycles of violence.